View Full Version : NOBO or SOBO?

Walking Thunderbird
06-11-2012, 06:20
Been awhile since I've been on WB, but I thought I'd solicit some discussion.

I'm an '09 SOBO thru-hiker, finishing in 74-75 days. This was my first distance hike, so I was fairly surprised at how fast I was able to do it (I had a deadline, so I had to move). Anyways, ever since then the thought that I might could make an attempt at the unsupported time record has been in the back of my mind, as much as I try to suppress it (I'm a competitive person by nature). Given that I did it pretty quick with virtually no experience and little knowledge of the trail, and I definitely could have done a lot more miles on many days, it seems like something that may be in range (although I acknowledge that it's really really hard to shave 20% off my time).

I've been thinking about whether NOBO or SOBO is the way to go. My 09 thru was SOBO, and I think taht worked out reasonably well. You can start on the "harder" stuff, where you can't make as many miles per day (I started off around 20-25 per day), then after you get your legs under you, up it to 30-40 (I averaged about 32 per day after Hanover). There really isn't anywhere down south that you need to slow down that much (I flew through TN and GA). Anybody have any thoughts on why NOBO might be better?

Also, I started on July 31, but I don't think that's optimal, as I ended up running out of daylight as it got in to late Sept / Oct. So, I'm thinking that the optimal time to start is probably mid-late June, so as to maximize daylight (finishing in August down south) and also avoiding the early rainy part of the summer.

Any thoughts?

Lone Wolf
06-11-2012, 06:31
SOBO is the way to go to break AT records. get the tough stuff out of the way first while you're still fresh and novelty hasn't worn off

06-14-2012, 10:49
Go for it man! I'd say you would have a better chance than most!
Good luck if you decide to do it!

06-19-2012, 20:11
What ever floats your boat bro

06-19-2012, 20:16
Another possible reason to attempt it SOBO: The worst weather (and toughest part) is in the first 300 miles.
You can't afford to take a day off and if really bad weather stops you (like 75 mph winds or similar), you could always start over.
I believe one of Thompson's attempts was stopped when he couldn't get over Mt. Washington on a NOBO attempt.
Of course he was drained by then and no way could he start over.

I always felt that Karl Metzger should have started over (after a weeks rest) when he got the foot rot in Maine on his SOBO attempt.
He would have also known better what to expect of course.

06-19-2012, 20:35
The only flaw I see is that a mid-June start will put you in peak black fly season most years

10-21-2012, 03:38
I really hope you attempt to break the record. Best of luck if you do!